Ignatz Von Kolisch
Number of games in database: 161
Years covered: 1859 to 1885
Overall record: +94 -38 =28 (67.5%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      1 exhibition game, odds game, etc. is excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Evans Gambit (23) 
    C51 C52
 Giuoco Piano (10) 
 King's Gambit Accepted (8) 
    C39 C38 C37 C33
 Sicilian (8) 
    B40 B20 B23 B44
 Two Knights (5) 
    C55 C56
 French Defense (5) 
    C00 C01
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (14) 
    C84 C77 C78 C65 C64
 French Defense (12) 
    C01 C00 C10
 Evans Gambit (9) 
    C51 C52
 King's Gambit Accepted (7) 
    C33 C39 C36 C38 C37
 French (6) 
    C00 C10
 Petrov (6) 
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Mandolfo vs Kolisch, 1859 0-1
   Shumov vs Kolisch, 1862 0-1
   Duke Karl / Count Casabianca vs Kolisch, 1859 0-1
   Kolisch vs Loyd, 1867 1-0
   Kolisch vs Anderssen, 1861 1-0
   Kolisch vs Geake, 1860 1-0
   Kolisch vs Anderssen, 1861 1-0
   Kolisch vs R Steel, 1861 1-0
   F Deacon vs Kolisch, 1860 0-1
   Kolisch vs Anderssen, 1860 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Anderssen-Kolisch (1861)
   Paris (1867)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Paris 1867 by suenteus po 147
   Blunderchecked games II by nimh
   1860 Anderssen - Kolisch Match by TheFocus
   1860 Kolisch - Horwitz Match by TheFocus
   1860 Kolisch - Medley Match by TheFocus

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Ignatz Von Kolisch
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(born Apr-06-1837, died Apr-30-1889) Austria

[what is this?]
Ignaz Baron von Kolisch was born in 1837 in Pressburg (now Bratislava in what is now Slovakia). For the period 1859 - 1867 he was one of the top five or six players in the World. He defeated Bernhard Horwitz (+3, =0, -1) and Thomas Wilson Barnes (+10, =0, -1) and drew with Adolf Anderssen (+5, =1, -5) in matches in 1860. The following year he played Anderssen again, narrowly losing (+3, =2, -4) and then Louis Paulsen in a match with the winner being the first player to reach 10 wins. Kolisch trailed (+1, =9, -6) at first but then got into his work and fought back to (+6, =18, -7). The match was then abandoned as drawn at that stage. In 1863 he challenged Paul Morphy but Morphy, now retired, declined to play. The Paris tournament of 1867 was not only the high point of his career it was also his last. He finished clear 1st ahead of Simon Winawer and Wilhelm Steinitz and now retired from active play. He opened a bank in Vienna in 1871 and within ten years became a very wealthy man. He continued to support chess by financing the great tournaments at Baden-Baden 1870, Vienna 1873, Paris 1878, Vienna 1882 and London 1883.

Wikipedia article: Ignatz Kolisch

 page 1 of 7; games 1-25 of 161  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Kolisch vs Hamppe 1-028 1859 WenenC44 King's Pawn Game
2. Duke Karl / Count Casabianca vs Kolisch 0-136 1859 ?D30 Queen's Gambit Declined
3. Kolisch vs C W Vitzthum von Eckstaedt 1-043 1859 GenoaC00 French Defense
4. Kolisch vs Gastein 1-019 1859 ViennaC52 Evans Gambit
5. Kolisch vs C W Vitzthum von Eckstaedt  1-037 1859 GenoaB44 Sicilian
6. De Riviere vs Kolisch  0-161 1859 Paris m/1C36 King's Gambit Accepted, Abbazia Defense
7. E Jenay vs Kolisch  0-148 1859 ViennaC26 Vienna
8. Kolisch vs Centurini / Saint Bon 1-037 1859 GenoaC52 Evans Gambit
9. Anderssen vs Kolisch 1-036 1859 It LondonC51 Evans Gambit
10. Kolisch vs A Carstanjen  1-034 1859 ParisC30 King's Gambit Declined
11. Kolisch vs H P Schlemm 1-022 1859 WenenC52 Evans Gambit
12. Harrwitz vs Kolisch  0-152 1859 ?A85 Dutch, with c4 & Nc3
13. Mandolfo vs Kolisch 0-119 1859 ParisC26 Vienna
14. G Medley vs Kolisch  ½-½27 1860 London mC42 Petrov Defense
15. Kolisch vs Von Kylman  0-132 1860 ManchesterC31 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
16. Kolisch vs Anderssen 0-116 1860 ParisC44 King's Pawn Game
17. A Carstanjen vs Kolisch 1-028 1860 UnknownC55 Two Knights Defense
18. Anderssen vs Kolisch  1-035 1860 Paris mC51 Evans Gambit
19. Kolisch vs G Medley  1-037 1860 London mC51 Evans Gambit
20. Anderssen vs Kolisch 1-046 1860 ParisC42 Petrov Defense
21. Kolisch vs C Stanley 1-050 1860 CambridgeC01 French, Exchange
22. Kolisch vs Anderssen 1-052 1860 Paris m/1C39 King's Gambit Accepted
23. Kolisch vs G Medley 1-025 1860 London mC44 King's Pawn Game
24. Kolisch vs F Burden 1-032 1860 London m/1C30 King's Gambit Declined
25. De Riviere vs Kolisch 0-123 1860 ParisC64 Ruy Lopez, Classical
 page 1 of 7; games 1-25 of 161  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Kolisch wins | Kolisch loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <ckr> It really is guesswork without the account of either of the two main participants.

So here is my guesswork:-)

I note that Steinitz uses the words "it is said", with reference to Morphy's reason for declining a challenge in 1867. That implies either there was no written correspondence, or that Steinitz didn't have access to it.

You mention the lack of documentation. That troubles me too. I am not certain anyone at the tournament knew how to contact Morphy, or that Morphy would hear of a challenge through others. --It would be helpful to know where Morphy stayed during his visit, does Lawson say?

I believe there was no formal challenge, but Kolisch may have given the impression to Steinitz and others at the tournament that he was going to make his claim as a challenger again, and may have believed by saying it that Morphy would hear of it.

Aug-07-05  ckr: <where he stayed> I assume it was with sister and mother, Lawson is not specific.

<Tamar I am not certain anyone at the tournament knew how to contact Morphy>

Lawson p288

"He lost his taste for chess entirely,and Neumann told us in 1867 that he never could prevail upon Morphy to play a game. They frequently met at Riviere's house and Morphy would occasionally condesend to look at some variations when the Paris Congress book was being prepared for press."

I assume this to be the same Neuman as the one who played the Paris Turnament although I am not at all familiar with the player. But also that other close friends of Morphy's also played in the tournament (Rousseau and Riviere).

There is sufficient evidence that a challenge could have been conveyed to Morphy. Although, I think that if any of his close friends were approched about a challenge they would simply reply "Morphy will not play chess anymore."

<"It is said"> very noteworthy, and a good point.

Perhaps Lawson makes no mention due to the lack of documentation.

Aug-07-05  ckr: <Tamar> My particular interest on this topic is due to the fact that Landsberger wrote that after Steinitz defeated Anderssen in 1866 he anounced that he was the world champion. He further stated that Morphy would have been entitled to such a title if he would have accepted and won challenges against Paulsen and Kolish. Since he did not do this the question of the championship was left open until the claim of Steinitz.

Much of the 'world champion' claim has been discussed on the Wilhelm Steinitz page so this appeared to be the same argument (given for an 1866 event) reoccuring again for 1867 event which, apparently, was not published until 1889.

I had previously thought that the Steinitz quote was two years after the tournament, which would place it at a time when Steinitz was not contributing to the International Chess Magazine. I rechecked the date of the article and found that it was twelve years after the tournament.

I guess that it is instances such as this that makes chess history such an intresting subject.

More Fodder from the Chess Monthly, May 1889:

"We should hardly be justified in soiling the pages of the present number of the Chess Monthly with an allusion to the spleeny and dyspeptic maniac who is raving in the International, were it not notorious that Kolisch despised him even more than we do -- and Mr. Steinitz knows it.

Another reason we do not follow the advice of friends to treat Quasimodo with silent comtempt is, he is not so charitable himself to expect it from those he constantly maligns. Did he hold out his other cheek when Blackburne gave him a smack on the right, both here and at Pursell's and during the Paris Tournament at the hotel. He did not take the chatisement meekly; but tried to retaliate with his cane, which Blackburne broke in twain and threw into the fire; and did not he attempt, in his impotent rage, like a fish-fag, to spit in to his adversary's face, just as he is now doing in the International ..."

I assume that this is regarding the Kolisch article.

Certainly, all does not seem well in Camelot. Even today the subject of chess and chess players seems to incite extream emotions from it's follower's (Kasparov's smacked with a chess board and a world champion according to who). I wonder if there is some correlation between chess and hockey players?

Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: From reading the Chess Monthly letter one can see Steinitz was not held in very high regard by whoever wrote it. Blackburne and Steinitz had many run ins with each other,the most glaring one occurred when Blackburne once threw Steinitz out of a first floor window.
Aug-07-05  ckr: <chancho> I believe it was Leopold Hoffer. The two frequently published articles which demonstrated the mutual affection and respect they held for each other.

<out the first floor window> Amazing, would have been a excellent match on WWF? :-)

Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: <ckr> Thanks for that information, and yes, I think it would have been a good WWF match. With both of them using Chess pieces as hidden foreign objects, as they went at each other.
Aug-07-05  SBC: It seems to me that a problem lies in how one wants to emphasize or interpret known facts (or in OCC's case, how one wants to selectively utilize these facts).

In 1859, after Morphy had left Paris, Kolisch narrowly beat Harrwitz (who took sick and abandonned the match, of course) and drew against Riviere. He seemed to hold his own in individual games against all the strong players he encountered and, using this as leverage, tried to negotiate a formal match, via Napoleon Marache, with Morphy in the Spring of 1861. Morphy was still at the height of his fame but retired from chess.

It should also be noted that Louisiana had seceeded from the Union on December 20, 1860, that Fort Sumter was attacked on April 12, 1861 and that in almost exacly one more year, Arpil 24, 1862, New Orleans would fall into Union hands.

Morphy dismissed the challenge but left open the possiblity of a future match in an informal, private setting and without stakes.

In December 1862, Morphy arrived in Paris, escaping the ramifications of the Union occupancy of New Orleans. While there, he played some informal games mostly in private homes of people such as Riviere and Doazon, but he seemed more interested in socializing with the Murat, D'Angely, Colbert and Tremoille ladies.

He seemed also in contact with Gustav Neumann, though it seems they never contested any games. (However, it seems odd to me that in 1867, Neumann specifically states that he couldn't prevail on Morphy to play a game with him - as if they had played before at some other time?) Kolisch was in Paris but it doesn't seem that he ever met with Morphy socialy nor OTB. However Kolisch noted that Morphy had been playing chess in Paris and took that as a foot-in-the-door to assert he had come out of retirement and referred to Morphy's promise to play if he were ever in Europe and had several weeks free.

But Morphy declined the match with Kolisch, citing that the "exception" he had originally considered granting Kolisch was based on his successes at that time but that since then, Kolisch lost matches to players to whom Morphy felt he himself was clearly superior, relinquishing any right to such an exception.

The failure, if there was one, was Kolisch's inability to read between the lines and not Morphy breaking any so-called promise - which was for all intents and purposes, a dismissal rather than a promise.

In 1867 when Morphy returned to Paris. Morphy played no chess though he is said to have looked at some positions from the tournament that had just been played there (won by Kolisch). Steintiz claimed that Kolisch used his victory to once again to (rightfully) challenge Morphy and Morphy declined. Since no one other than Steinitz ever mentioned this 1867 challenge, it might well be that Steinitz was confusing Kolisch's 1863 challenge... or it's possible that the challenge was so informal that only a few insiders, and no press, even knew about it, but, if that were the case, surely Neumann would have mentioned it. At any rate, it seems that Morphy, (outside the fact that he was retired) who was in Paris because his mother felt he needed a change in scenery, was in no emotional shape for a greuling match in 1867.

One more oddity: Steinitz wrote, "Morphy was bound to accept the defi (Kolisch's 1867 challenge) or to abdicate any claims to the championship." What is odd is that Morphy, as far as I know, never laid claim to any championship. Perhaps that was another Steinitzian slip?

When Morphy issued his so-called challenge to the world to play at Pawn and move, I see this as less of a challenge and more of a delimiter. It's not as if he were asking people to play him at Pawn and move, but rather that anyone who could prove by his record he was entitled to play Morphy would again have to prove it by beating him at odds. I've wondered what happened to this Pawn and move thing in all these Kolisch negotiations.

It's also peculiar that Lawson discussed the Morphy-Kolisch controversy, but Sergeant never even mentioned it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <What is odd is that Morphy, as far as I know, never laid claim to any championship.> It probably is not that Morphy claimed the championship, but that a large segment of chess public claimed the championship for him.

All in all, one has to have a measure of sympathy for Steinitz' plight: He strived to become the WC and he strived to win the title OTB. But, to be accepted as a WC, the public has to accept you a WC. Thus, while Steinitz could not win the the title OTB from the ghost that refused to play, he had a hell of time of convincing people of letting go of that ghost at the same time.

Aug-07-05  SBC: <Gypsy>

Steinitz wrote that Morphy should "abdicate any claims to the championship", not that the public should look for a new champion. But it may all come down to semantics or even to perspectives. While Morphy, as far as I know, never overtly claimed the title World Champion, on at least 2 occassions he was proclaimed as such in his own presence and he didn't object. So he might be said to have accepted the title without claiming it. It's undeniable that he saw himself as the best player in the world. But then there's the idea of perspective. I think old school people like Morphy, Anderssen and even Staunton didn't think in precisely those terms... that a title was a thing to be won and then held onto like some precious possession. Rather, it seems to me, they saw it more as a badge of acheivement that once earned was enough. Maybe like winning the gold in the Olympics.. once you win a gold medal, you don't have to go back every four years to try to earn more. I'm not sure if that's it, but I do feel that once the title became "official" it seemed it became more important to have the title of being the world champion than to actually be the best player in the world. Perhaps it has to do with chess transforming from an advocation of amateurs into a vocation of professionals.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <SBC> Yes, the notion of the "King of the Hill" is a tricky one. At times several players gain a credible claim to a part of such hill: best tournament player, best rating (now or in lifetime), strongest active player, strongest player alive, winner of a world cup event.... Steinitz did a reasonable job when he defined WC as being the guy who, in a match, defeated the previous WC. Of course, a'lot is tricky with it, the least problem being that there is no guarantee of transitivity of results; A could easily dominate B, B dominate C, and C dominate A. More serious are the problems of succession when WCs hide from challengers, or die/retire in-office. But, on ballance, Steinitzean WCs served as a reasonable proximily for the strongest player on the planet for quite a time. It gave us a line of guys like Steinitz, Lasker, Capa, AAA,Euwe, Botvinnik, ... and a parade of true chess legends that faltered with the title within sights (Chigorin, Tarrasch, Schlechter, Keres, Bronstein, Korchnoi).

The Steinitz' WC title has served Chess well. How well, it only becomes transparent when we compare the line of Steinitzean Champs against the recent line of FIDE World Cup winners.

Jan-05-06  BIDMONFA: Ignatz Von Kolisch


Apr-06-06  DeepBlade: Happy Birthday Ignatz!

Really like your Kolisch vs Anderssen, 1861 game

Jun-17-06  Bartleby: It's interesting that Kolisch merely drew Anderssen and Paulsen in matches (roughly speaking) but utterly annihilated Barnes, Morphy's "problem" opponent (on a curve, that is). Soltis covered the "Difficult opponent" topic in one of his Chess to Enjoy columns, Master A & B might be equal to one other result wise, but enter master C into the equation, and C utterly trounces A over time but the opposite happens with C and B. Marshall used to say he had the "Indian Sign" on certain opponents, like a hex, and Pillsbury said he had "cousins" he never failed to beat.

According to Soltis, the master who had the Indian Sign on Botvinnik, apparently, was a modestly successful Soviet IM by the name of Ilya Kan:

Kan vs Botvinnik, 1929

Kan vs Botvinnik, 1930

Though on closer inspection it's erroneous; Botvinnik dominated Kan over time and those two wins were long before Botvinnik's prime.

I think it'd be accurate to say Marshall had the Indian Sign on Pillsbury, who had it over Napier, who had over Marshall, in a wee little circle.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: Bogatyrchuk really did have a sign on Botvinnik: +3-0.
May-22-08  kramputz: Stalin had a hex on Botvinnik
May-22-08  neveramaster: Chernev:

Baron Kolisch must have been a happy man. He was a chess player, and that satisfied his soul. He was a millionaire, and that satisfied his wife.

Apr-06-09  WhiteRook48: Happy birthday GM (?) Kolisch!
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Happy Birthday, Herr Baron!
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Bio:
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: In 1860, George Webb Medley lost a match to Ignatz Kolisch (+0=2-2). Against Medley, Kolisch sometimes took two hours for three moves. After this match, there was a push to have a time limit in chess, which led to the introduction of sand glasses and clocks in chess.

happy birthday Ignatz..

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <Player of the Day>

He introduced <3...Bb4> in the French Defence here in his London 1861 match against L. Paulsen: Paulsen vs Kolisch, 1861 and Paulsen vs Kolisch, 1861

Apr-06-12  Penguincw: R.I.P. Austrian master Kolisch.
Premium Chessgames Member
  juan31: Desde mi perspectiva ( de simple aficionado) Ignatz Von Kolisch = Genio del ajedrez
Premium Chessgames Member
  thomastonk: His German Wikipedia page states that he did several chess columns in newspapers from Vienna in the 1850s (using the pseudonym Ideka). Does anybody know a name of such a newspaper? Thank you in advance.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: <Austria - We have hitherto omitted to mention that Herr Kolisch, the winner of the Paris Tourney of 1867, has lately been created a Baron of the Austrian Empire. Not long ago he purchased a handsome villa on the Kahlenberg near Vienna, and on Sept. 14th had the honour of an unexpected visit there from the Empress and her two brothers.>

From page 15 of the January 1882 'British Chess Magazine'

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